already busy at work repairing the damage in Heller’s office. My
new boss handed me over to Daniel and left for parts unknown.
“So, what do
you think of Heller?” Daniel asked as we started our tour, his
intelligent eyes betraying more than just a casual interest in the
“He’s a very
interesting man. Quite demanding and more than a little
terrifying,” I answered honestly, deciding not to say any more.
After all, I had no idea about office loyalties yet.
laughed. “Oh, you’ve got that right, Tilly. He’s not the easiest
person to get along with. And he can be very intimidating.”
“How long have
you known him?” I asked curiously.
years,” he replied.
I thought for
a moment. “I’m sure Heller told me during the interview that he’d
been in his own business for only five years. You worked for him
before now?” I sensed Daniel stiffen beside me, but his response
was mild enough.
like that,” he said simply. “Let’s start the tour here in the
middle of the building. This is the main office area and Heller’s
office is over there in the corner, as you’ve seen. This is my
desk, and Niq’s is that one near the kitchen, across from mine.
Your space will be that desk in the corner there.”
It was the
desk directly facing Heller’s office. Oh great! I’d get to
look at him all day. I wasn’t sure if that would be a good thing or
continued. “The rest of the office staff are situated off-base for
logistical reasons. That includes our legal, IT and HR sections.
It’s my job to supervise their activities, take care of the
accounts and try to keep the place running as smoothly as
“Wow! That’s a
lot of responsibility for someone so young,” I admired. “You must
unsuccessfully tried to suppress the modest smile that forced
itself across his face at my praise, which I thought was sweet.
about Niq?” I enquired.
at school, but he’ll eventually work here too when he’s
So Niq IS a
boy! I thought, glad to have that finally clarified.
“Is he a
relative of Heller’s?” I asked innocently, curious again.
Daniel said vaguely and it seemed as if that that line of
questioning would lead to a dead-end. I scrabbled about for
acceptable conversation topics.
lives in the building?”
“Sid and Clive
share a flat on the third floor. You share the fourth floor with
me, and Heller, Niq and Victor live on the fifth floor. It’s quite
preferable in some ways, because Heller really does expect you to
be on call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. That’s one
of the reasons why looks after us all so well.”
“I was hoping
that he was joking about the being on call bit,” I said. Daniel
shook his head with a smile.
one for jokes, I’m afraid. Anyway, back to the tour. The building
has two basement floors. I won’t take you down there. The lowest is
the carpark for the business vehicle fleet and the other holds the
armoury and equipment store, and Heller’s own vehicles, which Sid,
Clive and I all drive as well.”
lifted when he mentioned an armoury. I had a sudden mental image of
me bursting into a room full of baddies, a gigantic gun in my
hands, a smart-arse comment on my lips, Charlie’s fourth angel. I
secretly smiled to myself in delight – I’d always wanted to be a
“On the ground
floor is the security section. They have their own kitchen, eating
area and gym down there because Heller insists that they be in top
shape. In fact, he insists that we all be very fit. You’ll find out
all about that soon enough,” he said dryly, then continued. “The
first floor is for the surveillance guys. Top secret stuff going on
there. I don’t have a clue what they’re doing and even I have to
get permission to go in there. It’s strictly off-limits.” I
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